What would you do?
My faithful dogs are now ageing and I have a need to find a new addition that can predominantly track deer.
My Lab and Spaniel currently are used for picking up, beating and sitting need a peg and deer tracking but they started late in life so do struggle but hey do ok, but I find myself theses days stalking is my main pastime with still an involvement with a stand and beat shoot whether both my brother and I do the keepering.
So I would still find the need to pick birds etc but tracking deer is the main job for the new addition.
I know from trawling through and reading passed posts that it is horses for courses as they say, but I donít want to have two dogs if I can get away with it, but I have two then so be it.
The question I ask and its been asked before sorry, is what will some of you experienced dog handlers recommend and why.
I have looked at number different breeds Bavarian GWP, Labs etc.
I would be grateful for any experience and advise then I can decide and look to getting an addition.
First of all i will say you have to like and match your personality to the dog. Its no good somebody telling you that a GWP is the best thing since sliced bread( yes they are) if you don't like and get on with them!
Choose wisely as you may have the dog for many years! It does sound like the type of work you want done is pointing (sic) to a HPR.
If it's just picking up plus blood trailing then I think a lab might be best for you.
My last one did both to a good standard and I think they can have the temperament to fulfill those two roles really well. But as Deer Man says, matching your personality to the dog's is important. As an aside, I believe that in Denmark Labs outnumber other breeds as registered blood tracking dogs - and that your typical 'field trial standard' animal is not the preferred dog, (too focused and geared towards receiving instructions from the handler rather than being able to act independently is the reason I understand).
Might a HPR be better if you were looking for something to put birds up as well? I've heard that if your neighbours have cats a GWP might not be a good idea - that's just an impression I've formed after seeing a couple in (domestic) action.
Take a look at the Large Munsterlander i rekon they'll tick all the boxes,i have one he's only 5 months old but he's showing great promise on birds and tracking one day i know he's going to be an exceptional dog,i'm no expert though and i might be a bit biased now but don't think you'd could ask for a more versatile dog,lovely nature too.
Get a Hungarian Wirehaired Vizsla took mine out yesterday and he pointed fallow that came into the field 15 minutes later
Failing that a good hanoverian bavarian gwp lab musterlander etc
you knew before posting this thread that it would result in everyone posting their own personal preferences. i myself work Chesapeake Bay Retrievers so of course you'll agree that everyone else is talking pants and my breed is exactly what you need.
It really boils down to your own personality, your patience and just how versatile the dog needs to be. The fact is that practically any dog can be used to trail blood as evidenced by the huge amount of breeds used, but you also want it to mark and retrieve birds.
Considering breed traits, i'd suggest you invest in a good lab from a known working strain. Ignore the unknown £400 dogs and seek out a line like Buccleuch, Drakeshead, etc
Spaniels: a bit manic and take a couple of years to mature. most will want to work too fast for tracking.
HPR: Spend the time and energy with a good one and you'll have a mate for life but there are alot of bad ones out there - predominantly due to the owner being unwilling to invest the effort and time. Fact is that HPR's are generally more versatile, intelligent dogs who will play up or become stubborn if bored or un challenged. Weimeranas have been overbred due to the fashion value of their colouring and you'll occassionally come across GWP with an over aggressive streak.
Labs: generally they work because they want to please. Steer clear of show lines and favour the lean smaller working strains and you should find yourself with a calm, content buddy who'll be just as fine stalking as retrieving.
Yes there are all kinds of lesser breeds but if there is a lack of known history or scarcity of known successes, do you really want to gamble the aquisition of your next stalking/shooting buddy on our opinions?
make sure you get what you really wont .make sure its the right colour, sex and breed if not you might not put that extra bit into it and you will be saying should have got that black bitch.i prefer dogs as my temprement suits them
Thanks for the replys, some good valid points, I will take my time and wait for the right dog to come along.
Pendle, I did send a PM which side of the hill are you on!!!!